JAMES JEWELL – The Creator Web Series – ALABAMA CHROME with a dash of Bollywood.
Posted by Vivek on September 23, 2011 | 1 Comment
Musician turned filmmaker or rather musician returning to his filmmaking roots, James Jewell is a unique combination of being very driven and yet, very gregarious and fun loving. His personality is evident in his music. James has turned his attention, recently to the web, and developed the web series, ALABAMA CHROME, a series of episodes that can be viewed on the web. But this is not some home video effort, it has the backing of SAG, an Oscar nominee and Bollywood. We catch up with James in a telephonic call from Paris:
Alabama Chrome, the idea is about a creative individual trying to be successful and the ins and out that go with it. It is a poetic, abstract expression. A simple process in the world stage. It could be a comedy of errors, creative expression and the experience of individuals. It is a web series, but despite being a series, each episode stands on its own. There is also a music album by the same name that makes its way into the film
What got a musician into filmmaking?
Actually I have always been into filming. As a kid I used to make movies on the Super 8, just like a lot of kids in my generation. Made some music videos, since music is also a key facet to my personality. My major in college was films. Post graduation I was making music videos, filming marriages, all the fun stuff that we do to pay our bills. Being married to my wonderful wife gave me the opportunity to travel the world. Music then took precedence for me and we put together a band, when I moved to LA. But LA being what it is, I got an opportunity to make a short film. As we were discussing the idea of the short film, my wife and I and our entertainment lawyer, Pat, put our heads together and more ideas started to flow. It then occurred to us that rather than make a short film, the time was ripe for a web series.
Why web series?
Many reasons. The web is available to all. My wife and I are both very web savy so that gave us the opportunity to explore around. Also from a funding perspective it was easier, plus that is the way the world is going, seeing more stuff on the net. When we started out we figured we would make one episode or a couple, then it started to take a life of its own, people got involved and everyone had their own ideas and contributions and before we knew it, the series was formed.
But it is more than just passion here right?
Absolutely. We are very proud of the professionalism that has gone into it. It is going to be a SAG film, with high production values, HD, Cannon 5D, perfect audio quality. We also intend to come out with a DVD of season 1. It has an Oscar nominated cast, Alison Elliot. Songs, music, all of it.
Yes in two ways. A significant cast member and my friend, Mark Bennington, plays a FBI agent. During filming in LA, Mark informed me that he was leaving to go to Mumbai,to complete his book on Bollywood. This meant that production would have had to come to a standstill. We thought of working around the situation by having Mark film a few episodes from Mumbai.Those have only added to the color of the series. One of Mark’s friends, a Bollywood film and tv actress, Barkha Madan, was also roped in. She too plays an undercover agent. Because she is undercover, Barkha also provided the song and glam factor, she has done an amazing Bellydance number in one of the episodes and added her international and Bollywood flavor into the filming. This has made it so much more exciting.
When is the release planned for and how do we find out more?
The first episode should be available later this month. Our website is http://www.watchalabamachrome.com/